Wednesday, January 19, 2022



Major Design Changes and Increased NYPD Enforcement Will Target Intersections Where 79 Percent of Pedestrian Injuries Occur


Mayor Adams and DOT Commit to Improvements to Make 1,000 Intersections Safer


New Traffic Rule Protecting Pedestrians Takes Effect Today

 New York City Mayor Eric Adams today was joined by New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell to announce major new actions and investments in pedestrian safety at intersections. With intersections the leading site of pedestrian injuries and fatalities, DOT will make design improvements to make 1,000 intersections safer with improved traffic signals, raised crosswalks, and other expanded pedestrian space and visibility measures. Empowered by a new traffic rule protecting pedestrians that takes effect today, the NYPD will immediately begin expanded enforcement against drivers who fail to recognize the primacy of pedestrians in crosswalks. The agencies also announced a new education campaign to ensure that all drivers know the rules of the road.


“After the tragedy of 2021, when traffic fatalities in New York City reached their highest level in nearly a decade, we clearly need to turbo-charge Vision Zero — and fast,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “I thank my two commissioners for putting this early focus on enforcement and design within intersections, where we have the tools that can and will save lives.  Drivers need to know that intersections are where most crashes happen — and so if you do not drive safely through them, NYPD officers will make sure you pay a price.” 


“Thanks to Mayor Adams’ leadership, we are taking these early actions to save lives,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Rodriguez. “As we take a new approach to Vision Zero, we know intersections are where pedestrians and cyclists face the greatest dangers — and so we can and will make hundreds of crosswalks safer with a range of treatments, both new ones and more of those that we know work. We will not be complacent or accept any life lost on our streets. My thanks to Commissioner Sewell and the NYPD for their serious focus this year on failure-to-yield, which sends a strong signal to New York drivers about how serious we are about this.”


“Ensuring the safety of New York City streets and all who use them is paramount, and this new plan is critical to the NYPD’s important work with its city partners,” said Police Commissioner Sewell. “The NYPD continues to be relentless in enforcing the laws, including this new rule that protects pedestrians crossing city intersections. Through Mayor Adams’ leadership, and by working hand-in-hand with the Department of Transportation in this new approach to Vision Zero, the NYPD will keep innovating to make our streets safer.”


Intersections pose a special safety challenge in New York City, where crashes at intersections typically comprise 50 percent of all fatalities and 70 percent of all injuries. For pedestrians, the dangers are more pronounced: 55 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 79 percent of pedestrian traffic injuries occur at intersections. Today’s intersection-focused announcement includes the following elements:


DOT Design Toolkit Focus on Intersections


DOT announced that in 2022 it would undertake new and expanded efforts focused on intersection design at 1,000 locations, including through: 


·     Increased focus on intersections in Street Improvement Projects: DOT will use its full toolkit of street design treatments as redesigns happen, focused on Vision Zero priority geographies, locations where fatalities and serious injuries have occurred, and Priority Investment Areas as detailed in the NYC Streets Plan. These changes include new turn signals and “head-starts” that allow pedestrians to enter the intersection before vehicles can turn.


·    Raised crosswalks: DOT will begin a program to construct 100 raised crosswalks at curb level annually. Raised crosswalks serve a dual purpose of increasing accessibility for the disability community, while at the same time serving as speed bumps that slow drivers. This work will be done primarily via a new contract with the New York City Department of Design and Construction.


·     Bike corrals at intersections: DOT will “daylight” at least 100 intersections with bike corrals this year, as part of its planned installation of more than 10,000 bicycle racks by the end of 2022. Bike corrals at intersections help provide visibility for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, while preventing drivers from cutting corners and turning too quickly.


·     Parking lot and gas station traffic-calming: Curb cuts at high-traffic locations like parking lots and gasoline stations, often at intersections, can create danger as drivers cut across sidewalks unpredictably — a particular concern for vulnerable student and senior pedestrians. DOT efforts will target dozens of problem locations, largely outside Manhattan, reducing driver “short cuts” and better channeling vehicle traffic to increase visibility and predictability.


·     Doubling the Turn-Calming Program: Research has shown that drivers take turns more slowly and deliberately when physical elements are in place to force turns at more appropriate speeds. DOT will double the production of such efforts to 100 intersections this year.


Increased Enforcement Within Intersections


The NYPD will strongly enforce failure-to-yield (FTY), a violation that especially endangers pedestrians and cyclists at intersections, with a goal of doubling 2021 FTY enforcement efforts.


While enforcement will be at intersections citywide, officers will also be empowered by a new DOT traffic rule that goes into effect today for such violations at over 1,200 intersections citywide that are governed by neither a traffic signal nor a stop sign. Under the new rule, drivers and cyclists passing through such intersections must not simply yield but fully stop until a pedestrian has completely crossed the street. The new rule is intended to clarify enforcement and remove any subjectivity from such violations.


New “Stop. Let Them Cross” Public Awareness Campaign


This month, DOT will begin a public awareness campaign on social media and in community and ethnic media publications to raise awareness for the new stop for pedestrians’ rule for uncontrolled intersections. The message also underscores the importance of slowing down and being aware of pedestrians while driving in New York City.



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